Harrington and Kennedy

28-30 Aug 2002 - by Ron Hudson

We had a good and successful time on this SPS backpack out of Kings Canyon. Seven of us started at the Deer Cove Creek trailhead (4400'). The backpack was to elevation 8000' -- the trail fork for Kennedy Pass and Grizzly Lakes trails. Advantage of this route is that it is in the Monarch Wilderness and no permit is required. After leaving our gear we went up to Grizzly Lakes thinking we could do Harrington the first day, but were a bit tired and slow after 4000' gain with packs, and turned around. Back down to camp for an early start the next morning.

In the morning when we got the area east of the summit of Harrington, we took a route up the cliffs below the col northeast of the peak. Our route was near some trees; 3rd class, and there a couple exposed moves. We waked a bit to the north side of the 300' summit, and followed the north ridge and along its west side. There were a few 3rd class sections but no rope needed. On to the top, it was nice - sunny and warm. After relaxing we came back down the headwall via a crack that is at the extreme left edge of it as you look from below.

We had plenty of time left, so we just lazed around the two small lakes for a couple hours. Some of us did swimming too. Then we went back to camp and had another happy hour, turning in early for a dawn start to Kennedy. For that peak, it was just a matter of following the trail to Kennedy Pass and then going up the mostly class 1 ridge to the summit. Again sunny and warm on top. To return to camp, we followed the ridge that goes southwest from the summit, down for thousands of feet until we intersected the trail near Lewis Creek at 8500' We picked up our packs and headed back down the hot south-facing slope of Kings Canyon, arriving at the cars in the evening. Dust from the loose tracks of horses which had pulverized the steep trail made hiking a bit less pleasant. All seven of us made both peaks.

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